Venezuela: No voice, no democracy


Students have been out on the streets of every major city in Venezuela since Feb. 12, leaving until today six deaths, many injured, and hundreds arrested.

Leopoldo López, one of the opposition leaders from the political party “Volundad Popular,” urged all citizens to march peacefully against the regime of President Nicolás Maduro to put an end to the economic and social crisis of the country.

Maduro also summoned his followers to a manifest for “peace” in which he claimed indirectly to López, “Coward, fascist, surrender yourself that we are looking for you.”

The government issued a captive order to López for the incidents that happened at the march on Feb. 12. He was charged with conspiracy, arson, homicide and terrorism.

López turned himself to the authorities in front of tens of thousands protesters.

“If my imprisonment serves to awaken this town, so be it,” López said shortly before turning himself. “I have nothing to fear. I will always give the face.”

Even though the most serious charges (murder and terrorism) were dropped; if López is convicted he could face up to 10 years of jail.

But who is it really to blame?

According to the constitution, Venezuelans have the right to protest peacefully.

President Maduro blames it on activist Leopoldo López for calling the opposition to protest.

However, images and videos not shown by the media in Venezuela are proof that the National Guard is using arms against civilians and that they are the authors of the crimes that occurred.

Yes, military. The ones who promise the country to look for its citizens are shooting, torturing and beating students.

The protests are not only being held in Venezuela, but all around the world.

Today, it is not anymore a problem of different political ideologies, but about the safety and the millions of innocent people that die every day in Venezuela.

Students in Venezuela are risking their lives at the protests to because they want democracy, freedom of speech, safety.

As well, students living outside of Venezuela have become the voice of the country. They are effectively using social media to expand the truth and welcome people to join their struggle.

It is uncertain what the future holds for Venezuela, but protests are growing stronger and leave no signal of ending soon.

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About Sofia Ortega

Sofia Ortega ( is a sophomore at the University of Miami. She is majoring in Broadcast Journalism and minoring in Health Management and Business Administration. Sofia was born in Boston, Massachusetts but was raised in Guayaquil, Ecuador. Since January 2013 she has been part of Uni Miami, the only news show in Spanish at UMTV. She reported and anchored for the hard news and sports segment. In the summer of 2013, Sofia worked as an intern for the Ecuadorian TV Station Ecuavisa. After graduation, she hopes to find a spot as a news anchor at CNN en Español, Univision or Telemundo.